Accreditation & Educational Effectiveness


St. Mary’s Seminary and University:

Accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, with the following degree programs approved:
Masters in Divinity, Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Arts in Church Ministry

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, with the following degree programs approved:
Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Arts in Church Ministry


Mission Driven Outcomes Assessment:

St. Mary’s Seminary & University is committed to institution-wide outcomes assessment in order that the Institution may facilitate and support the “Educational Effectiveness” of St. Mary’s degree programs in service to its mission:

St. Mary’s Seminary & University, founded in Baltimore in 1791 by the Society of Saint Sulpice, strives, as its primary purpose to provide an outstanding spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral preparation of candidates for Roman Catholic priesthood. Following in the Sulpician seminary tradition, it seeks to do this as a formation community grounded in Jesus Christ and primarily directed toward diocesan priestly service in the Church.

This fundamental commitment provides the context and stimulus for our distinctive graduate and professional programs in theology and ministry, especially in continuing formation and ecumenical theological study.

St. Mary’s Seminary & University awards theological degrees both as a civil university and as a canonically recognized Ecclesiastical Faculty.

Educational assessment takes place on a yearly basis through the guidance and under the direction of the Faculty Council, the Faculty Assessment Committee, and the Dean of the School of Theology and the Assessment Committee, the Faculty, and the Dean and Associate Dean of the Ecumenical Institute. Direct and indirect methods of assessment and appropriate measurement instruments have been developed, refined, and continually evaluated to assist in assessing student learning outcomes linked to specific goals and designated standards. Ongoing assessment of coursework, syllabi, and faculty; peer and faculty reviews; field education supervision evaluations; comprehensive exams, theses, final colloquium papers, or capstone project evaluations; exit and alumni interviews; as well as programmatic reviews, mark some of the methods utilized in assessing St. Mary’s educational effectiveness.

Beyond this serious commitment to assessing student learning outcomes is the commitment of the Institution and its divisions to ongoing assessment of its governance, leadership, personnel, resources, internal and external operations and services as a means to fulfill its mission and to resource its educational effectiveness.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness: 2013-2014

1) School of Theology:

Retention Rate:

  • 94% of Seminarians enrolled in the School of Theology completed the year with a GPA average of 3.44

Graduation and Placement Information:

  • 100% of those enrolled in the Master of Divinity program and eligible to graduate received degrees with an average GPA of 3.51.
  • 100 % of those who graduated were given an assignment in ministry by the sending Diocese.

Written Comprehensive Examination Assessment for 2013:
Required for all potential graduating seminarians.
On a scale from 1 – 4 (1=lowest and 4 = highest)

100% of eligible candidates passed the written comprehensive examinations with a 3.03 average in Religious Heritage: Mastery of the Catholic Doctrinal and Theological Tradition in Biblical Studies, Moral Theology and Systematic Theology
a 3.08 in Cultural Context: Theological Competency while treating the real life questions and concerns of contemporary believers in Biblical Studies, Moral Theology, and Systematic Theology.

Assessment of Human and Spiritual Formation in Second Theology:
On a scale from Strong to Weak:

Human and Social Growth:

  • Areas of strength: Cooperation with the Formation Process and Practice of Human and Moral Virtues
  • Areas of competency: Social Skills and Time Management
  • Areas to be further developed: Personal Integration and Resolution of Human Growth Issues

Spiritual Life:

  • Areas of strength: Regularity of Personal Prayer
  • Areas of competency: Integration of Faith with Scripture and Theology
  • Areas to be further developed: Maturity in Accepting God’s Call and Private Praying of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer

Exit Interviews:
School of Theology:
On a scale from 1 – 5 (1=lowest and 5 = highest)

  • Formation for a Priestly Way of Life 3.92
  • Formation for Priestly Ministry 4.24
  • General Formation 4.18

97.35% of Seminarian Graduates from the School of Theology from 2008 – 2013 are in ministry for their diocese or religious community.

2) Ecumenical Institute:

100% of Students were part-time and finished their degrees:

Overall: 7.6 years
Master of Arts in Theology: 7.5 years
Master of Arts in Church Ministries: 8.0 years

Graduation and Placement Information for 2013:

  • 100% of students eligible to graduate in the Master of Theology program did so with a GPA of at least 3.4.
  • 100% of students eligible to graduate in the Master of Church Ministries program did so with a GPA of at least 3.6.
  • Placement does not apply for the Master of Theology program as most students pursuing this degree do so for personal and intellectual enrichment, not for vocational reasons. There are no vocational outcome expectations for this degree.
  • 75% of the Master in Church Ministry graduates were already functioning in a ministry capacity at the time of their studies; the remaining 25% were not seeking a change in vocation as a result of the degree.

Culminating Experience Options for the Master of Arts in Theology:
Students choose one of the following: Written Comprehensive Examination, Final Colloquium Paper, or Thesis Assessment.
Required for all potential graduating students.
100% successfully passed the culminating experience for which they were eligible and graduated.

Thesis:  Mastery of one theological discipline with an understanding of that discipline in the context of other theological disciplines;
Written Comprehensive Examination or Final Colloquium Paper: Understanding of various theological disciplines with a capacity to synthesize that theological understanding for critical engagement with a theological issue;
All Three Options: An ability to articulate an informed understanding of the relation of theological knowledge to present cultural context.

Culminating Experience for Master of Arts in Church Ministries: Ministry in Context:
Required for all potential graduating students.
100% successfully passed Ministry-in-Context and graduated.

Ministry-in-Context: Demonstrates ability to design and implement a ministry experience/project; demonstrates ability to evaluate own ministry work/project; demonstrates ability to work collaboratively with others in ministry project/experience; demonstrates ability to manage obstacles in ministry project/experience; demonstrates ability to meet timelines; demonstrates ability to communicate well orally and in writing; demonstrates evidence of firm grounding in Scripture and/or denominational rationale in ministry experience/project.

Exit Interviews:
Ecumenical Institute
On a scale from 1 – 5 (1 = not at all and 5 = completely)

Master of Arts in Theology:

  • Goals met completely or nearly so – 92%
  • Mean rating 4.5 on the above Likert scale

Master of Arts in Church Ministries:

  • Goals met completely: 100%
  • Mean rating 4.8 on the above Likert scale